More than 140 people attended the first Liberal Judaism fundraising dinner for a generation in order to help the movement build for its future.
The dinner, at Goldsmiths’ Hall, on Tuesday night, was held to support the LJY-Netzer bursary fund – which helps young people attend Liberal Judaism youth events whatever their financial situation – and the new Liberal Judaism education hub, which will launch in January.
The guest speaker was Julia Middleton, chief executive and founder of Common Purpose, a British charity that runs leadership programmes around the world.
The whole evening celebrated LJY-Netzer and how it helps young Jewish people find a home, especially those who may have struggled to fit in elsewhere.
Many of the guests were under 30 showing the bright future ahead for Liberal Judaism, as long as it able to invest. The evening’s speakers included 17-year-old LJY-Netzer Mia Bogod and movement worker Ellie Lawson.
The room was also addressed by Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich, director of strategy and partnerships Rabbi Charley Baginsky and president Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein.
Making the night’s appeal, Rabbi Goldstein said: “It gives me such great pride and pleasure to see so many young people who will be future leaders of our movement.
“The need to preserve and expand our Liberal Jewish identity is as necessary as ever, maybe more so, in this confused world. We need to keep the heart and sole of Liberal Judaism alive and flying to give us a present and a future.
“We have to make sure our excellent programmes are available to benefit as many young people as possible – wherever in the country they may be.”
The dinner so far raised £32,000 with donations still being made online.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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